New Music Monday: Giving thanks for Dave Douglas, Death Cab for Cutie and Dio

Here’s a run down — with a few of our thoughts — on some notable music projects, both new and reissue, slated for release for the week of Nov. 21, 2011. That includes fresh product from Chris Cornell, Dave Douglas, Kate Bush, Joe Cocker, the Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things — as well as interesting updates of older items by Death Cab for Cutie, Dio, Genesis, Hugh Laurie, Rush, Slim Harpo and others.

NEW MUSIC MONDAY FOR THE WEEK OF NOV. 21, 2011 …

Adam LambertBeg For Mercy (Pop/Rock)
Andrew Lloyd WebberPhantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, Polydor UK (Stage & Screen)
B.B. KingBest of RPM & Kent Recordings (Blues)
Beverly McClellanBeverly McClellan; Fear Nothing, Oarfin (Pop/Rock)
Big Maceo MerriweatherPower Piano Player: The Complete Sides 1941-50, JSP (Blues)
Big Time RushElevate, Sony (Pop/Rock)

BILL WYMAN’S RHYTHM KINGS – COLLECTOR’S EDITION BOX SET, RIPPLE-PROPER AMERICAN (BLUES): Those looking for a more direct connection to Wyman’s days with the Rolling Stones will find a fun cover of the Jagger-Richards composition “Melody” (originally on 1976?s Black and Blue), as well as guest turns by former Stones associates Mick Taylor and Nicky Hopkins. Big guest stars, in fact, abound. But make no mistake: the Rhythm Kings’ creative engine is Wyman himself, who — though never known as a composer during his lengthy stint with the Rolling Stones — wrote or co-wrote 23 of the 66 tunes here. He handled arrangements on a pair of traditional tracks and, of course, plays plays bass throughout, too. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

CalexicoSelections From Road Atlas 1998-2011, Quarterstick (Pop/Rock)

CHRIS CORNELL– SONGBOOK, HIP-O (POP/ROCK): Cornell, who says a new Soundgarden album is “mostly done,” whets fans appetites with 15 songs recorded during his spring tour — plus a studio version of “The Keeper” from the film “Machine Gun Preacher.” There are, of course, some Soundgarden cuts (“Fell On Black Days,” “Black Hole Sun”), but also tracks from Audioslave (“Wide Awake,” “I Am the Highway,” “Doesn’t Remind Me”), Temple of the Dog (“Call Me a Dog”) and his solo projects (“Scar On The Sky,” “Ground Zero”). Covers include John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.” — Nick DeRiso

Cirque du SoleilIris, Cirque du Soleil (Stage & Screen)
CommonThe Dreamer, The Believer (Rap)
Connie FrancisLipstick on Your Collar, Snapper UK (Pop/Rock)

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Creedence Clearwater RevivalLive at the Royal Albert Hall, Fantasy (Pop/Rock)
Damian WilsonI Thought The World Was Listening 1997-2011, Ais (Pop/Rock)
DaughtryBreak the Spell, RCA (Pop/Rock)

DAVE DOUGLAS – GREENLEAF PORTABLE SERIES, VOLS. 1-3, GREEF LEAF (JAZZ): A collection of three EPs, each presenting Douglas in a different ensemble setting, including his ongoing Brass Fantasy group. I’ll have more on this Tuesday. — S. Victor Aaron

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – KEYS AND CODES: REMIX EP (POP/ROCK): A new take on a comeback album from that odd conundrum called Death Cab for Cutie, whose spit-take name can’t begin to hint at the deep musical complexities tucked away inside. Before the May 31 release of the original incarnation of this album, they’d been away for some time — touring behind the dark and stormy Narrow Stairs, which went to Billboard No. 1 in 2008, and then crafting Codes and Keys. Check out what the remixers did with its bouncy initial single “You’re a Tourist,” a track dashes determinedly toward the rising daybreak. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

DIO – THE RONNIE JAMES DIO STORY: MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD; SACRED HEART; THE LAST IN LINE, UNIVERSAL JAPAN (POP/ROCK): For some reason, I’ve never been a huge fan of Sacred Heart. It’s one of only a few records throughout the course of Dio’s career away from Black Sabbath that’s just never clicked with me. The Last in Line, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It’s one of Dio’s finest moments, and is every bit a match for his classic Holy Diver. The other record is a two-disc collection that spans Dio’s entire career, though I think the song choices really shortchange his solo work.Fred Phillips

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – THE CLASSIC ALBUMS COLLECTION, EPIC EUROPE (POP/ROCK) It’s true, as Randy Newman once impishly sang, they were six fine English boys who knew each other in Birmingham. After that, things got tricky for the Electric Light Orchestra. Despite an impressive string of 1970s hits, they became an easy target. People knocked the strings. The Beatlemania. Jeff Lynne’s spaceman fro. We won’t even get into ELO Part II. Newman, in this dead-on 1979 parody of their orchestral bombast called “The Story of a Rock and Roll Band,” winked his way through a few of the group’s more memorable earworms: “I love their ‘Mr. Blue Sky.’ Almost my favorite is ‘Turn to Stone,’” Newman adds, “and how ’bout ‘Telephone Line?’ I love that ELO.” Relive each of those highlights here. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Ernie K-DoeHere Come the Girls: A History 1960-70, Snapper UK (R&B)

FULL TOILET – FULL TOILET, SUB POP: Back in high school I wondered if bands were running out of possible names when I first ran across Butt Trumpet. Perhaps this signals the actual end of the Good Band Name List. And yet I have to admit I’m curious. What, possibly, could Full Toilet sound like? So kudos to them on that, then. — Tom Johnson

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GENESIS – FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION, REPERTOIRE (POP/ROCK): I’m beginning to think there’s a calendar out there and someone has scheduled out re-releases of this album like you schedule your dentist appointment. Each time it’s re-issued, another appointment must be made, however many years in the future. “When would you like to issue this album again?” And the answer is supplied and a new date on the calendar is filled in. AllMusicGuide shows that this title has been reissued TWELVE times since 1993! There can’t possibly be that many people who need this album. Surely those who needed it bought it when it was available in one of the previous dozen issues, right? What’s the definition of insanity again? — Tom Johnson

George DukeDream On [Expanded Edition], Rendezvous [Expanded Edition], Soulmusic.com (Jazz)
George JonesHeartbreak Hotel, Bear Family (Country)

HALFORD – LIVE AT SAITAMA SUPER ARENA, METAL GOD (POP/ROCK): Halford’s appropriately titled Resurrection brought Rob Halford back into the metal fold in a big way after he left fans scratching their heads a little with his departure from Judas Priest and the strange Trent Reznor-produced band Two in the late 1990s. Despite the fact that he’s now back in Priest, he continues to record with Halford and take the band out on tour occasionally. This is the initial show of a 2010 tour that was the band’s first in seven years. Of course, you never know about live albums, but the track listing on this is pretty solid, including songs from his eponymous band to Judas Priest classics to some overlooked gems by his early 90s thrash act Fight. — Fred Phillips

HUGH LAURIE – LET THEM TALK [Special Edition], WARNER BROS. UK (BLUES): A special edition of a record that’s been out for a few months, Let Them Talk is one of those actor forays into music that is surprisingly good. A credible rendering of blues and roots music gone through a Big Easy filter. Convincing enough that now every time I happen to see “House” on TV, I think “there’s that pretty good musician who’s also an actor.” — S. Victor Aaron

Irma ThomasSoul Queen of New Orleans, Snapper UK (R&B)
James DurbinMemories of a Beautiful Disaster, Wind-up (Pop/Rock)
James McCartneyThe Complete EP Collection, Engine Company (Pop/Rock)
Jefferson AirplaneJefferson Airplane, Floating World (Pop/Rock)

JOE COCKER – HARD KNOCKS, 429 (POP/ROCK): On the standout title track, Cocker makes a bold return to the nasty R&B that made his first recordings so essential, having lost none of his ability to bray along with a robust, whiskey-soaked howl. Sure, his vocals have grown a little less flexible, but the setting here — versus say, the icky pop sheen of his chart-topping 1982 hit “Up Where We Belong” with Jennifer Warnes — is so perfectly suited for him, that this ends up as nothing more than a quibble. You remember, all over again, what made Cocker special. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

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John CaleExtra Playful, Domino (Pop/Rock)
John WilliamsWar Horse [Original Score], Sony Classics (Stage & Screen)
Junior WellsProfile Records Story [Floating World], Floating World (Blues)
Justin BieberUnder the Mistletoe [CD/DVD Gift Box], Island (Holiday)
KansasThe Classic Albums Collection 1974-83, Epic Europe (Pop/Rock)
Karlheinz StockhausenOld School: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Zeitkratzer (Avant-Garde)

KATE BUSH – 50 WORDS FOR SNOW, EPITAPH (POP/ROCK): “Wild Man,” the advance single from Kate Bush’s this LP is both a bold return to the magic, the unrealism, and the glittering whimsy of her early work — and a tip of the hat to her slightly more conventional hitmaking pop arias of the 1980s. Brilliantly weird, undeniably beautiful, and very Kate Bush, “Wild Man” is a brisk return to form after the house-broken, far-too-normal meanderings of 2005’s Aerial, her last release of new material — not to mention the May 2011 remake project Director’s Cut, which rung out Bush’s earlier work like so much laundry on the line. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

KayneJust Kayne, Ais (Rap)
Kevin HaysVariations, Pirouet (Jazz)
Kilborn Alley Blues BandFour, Blue Bella (Blues)
Lady GagaBorn This Way – The Collection [2CD/1DVD], Born This Way: The Remix, Interscope (R&B)
Lambert, Hendricks & RossVoices In Modern, El (Jazz)
Laura DreyerFree Flying Bird, (Jazz)
Lone StarFiring on All Six; Lone Star, (Pop/Rock)
Marty WildeBad Boy, Snapper UK (Pop/Rock)
Mary J. BligeMy Life II: The Journey Continues: Act 1 [Deluxe Edition]; My Life II … The Journey Continues (Act 1), Geffen (R&B)
Mel TillisStomp Them Grapes/Sawmill … Plus, Raven (Country)
Michael JacksonImmortal [Deluxe Edition], Epic (R&B)
Michael W. SmithGlory, (Religious)
Mobb DeepBlack Cocaine, Infamous (Rap)

MOTLEY CRUE – DR. FEELGOOD; GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS; SHOUT AT THE DEVIL; THEATRE OF PAIN, TOO FAST FOR LOVE, EMI (POP/ROCK): I’m not sure what’s different about these re-releases than the copies of these albums already in my collection, but these are certainly the must-own records from Motley Crue — though I’ll still argue that they should have included the 1994 self-titled record in the batch. — Fred Phillips

Mungo’s Hi-FiSound System Champions, (Electronic)
Naná VasconcelosUpside Down, Far Out UK (Folk)
New Riders of the Purple SageInstant Armadillo Blues: Best of 1971-75, Raven (Pop/Rock)
Nick MossHere I Am, Blue Bella (Blues)
NickelbackHere & Now, Roadrunner (Pop/Rock)
Nicole ScherzingerKiller Love [Repacked Version], Polydor UK (Pop/Rock)
Patti SmithPatti Smith: The Arista Years 1975-2000, (Pop/Rock)

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Rick DankoLive Anthology, Floating World (Pop/Rock)
Rick NelsonStay Young, Floating World (Pop/Rock)
Rick WakemanBootleg Box, Vol. 2, Floating World (Pop/Rock)
RihannaTalk That Talk, Def Jam (Pop/Rock)
Ronnie HawkinsForty Days, Snapper UK (Pop/Rock)
Roy AyersI’m the One (For Your Love Tonight), Soulmusic.com (Jazz)
Roy WoodMusic Book, EMI (Pop/Rock)

RUSH – SECTOR 1-3, ISLAND/MERCURY (POP/ROCK): For that brand-new Rush fan on your Christmas list, or the very, very die-hardiest of die-hards, these three boxes make up every single album Rush released while on Mercury. That is to say, Rush through live album No. 3 A Show Of Hands. The kickers for the rest of us is that these albums will most likely be remastered, if this year’s 30th Anniversary Edition of Moving Pictures is any indication (better than the currently available crop of remasters), and each box will include a surround sound DVD of one album: Sector 1 gets Fly By Night, Sector 2 has A Farewell To Kings, and Sector 3 features Signals. — Tom Johnson

SAM COOKE – THE RCA ALBUMS COLLECTION, EPIC EUROPE (R&B): Our pick from this period is 1963’s Night Beat, a memorably consistent album that sounds like its title that was made in that kind of moment — late, and with a small combo, when shadows gather and emotions run deep. This is a recording that holds up from beginning to end, settling into a bluesy atmosphere but moving from balladry to the gospel-rooted originals that were always the fertile soil of Cooke’s too-short career. That makes Night Beat his best overall effort, an intimate, then finger-popping affair — worldly and gentle, all at once. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

SLIM HARPO – ROCKS, BEAR FAMILY (BLUES): A sadly overlooked Louisiana blues singer and harpist, he was kind of the Lightnin’ Hopkins of the other side of the Sabine River in his time of the 1960s. Don’t know if this is a reissue or a compilation, but it’s sure to provide a reminder of his potential that went unfulfilled when he was felled by a heart attack at the dawn of the 1970s. — S. Victor Aaron

Snow PatrolFallen Empires, Polydor UK (Pop/Rock)
Taylor SwiftSpeak Now: World Tour Live, Big Machine (Country)
The ByrdsThe Complete Columbia Albums Collection, Columbia Europe (Pop/Rock)

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THE JIGSAW SEEN – WINTERLAND, VIBROPHONIC (POP/ROCK): A season-themed song cycle that can actually be enjoyed anytime of the year. Clutching tight to their standard of excellence, the long-running Los Angeles, California-based band, which has been in existence since the late 1980s, has once again deposited a sterling set of amazing shapes and sounds, sparked by a magical melding of pop precision, quirky garage rock touches and psychedelic voodoo. Spilling forth with smart songwriting, bright and shiny singing, pastoral textures and harmonic performances altogether, Winterland the kind of creativity and imagination musicians aspire to. (More here.)Beverly Paterson

The Piano Tribute PlayersPiano Tribute to Adele; Piano Tribute to Taylor Swift, C&B Productions (Country)

THE PRETTY THINGS – THE PRETTY THINGS; GET THE PICTURE?, SNAPPER UK (POP/ROCK): Although the Pretty Things were an instant hit in Europe, they failed to garner the recognition they deserved and within a couple of years they were basically yesterday’s news. What’s even sadder is that they were virtually ignored in America, and it’s only recently that their genius has been acknowledged on a widespread scale. They started out singing the blues, but as was the case with the majority of bands back then, the Pretty Things eventually expanded their horizons and began experimenting with a riot of sonic hues. Running the gamut from orchestrated pop to a psychedelic opera to slashing hard rock to slick new wave, the band appropriated these musical fashions with pure hearts and minds, resulting in an impressive body of work. (More here.)Beverly Paterson

THE ROLLING STONES – SOME GIRLS [Deluxe Edition], REPUBLIC (POP/ROCK): Includes a spruced-up never-before-heard leftover from the 1978 sessions, “No Spare Parts,” something that’s been bouncing around on bootlegs for years. A country-tinged number in the style of 1971’s “Wild Horses,” it couldn’t be further away from this album’s most famous tracks — the prowling disco vamp of “Miss You” or the grimy come-on of “Beast of Burden.” This new version of appears to have updated vocals from Mick Jagger, as well as some additional licks from Keith Richards and Ron Wood — who originally made his debut as second guitarist with the band on this album. The Stones took a similar approach when polishing up previously unreleased material for the recent reissue of Exile on Main Street, for instance. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

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THE ROLLING STONES – SOME GIRLS: LIVE IN TEXAS ’78 DVD, EAGLE VISION (POP/ROCK): The full-on, balls-out Some Girls was perfectly uncluttered — no horn section, no guest stars like Billy Preston. Just full on. That gives this subsequent live set from the summer of 1978 a chance to build off the record’s latent energy, rather than fruitlessly try to match it. Filmed in Fort Worth, Texas, even as the lead single “Miss You” was rocketing up the charts, this set was notable for its back-to-basics approach — both musically and visually. This performance DVD is, in fact, a stripped-down wonder: no digital movie screens, no huge scaffolding for Mick Jagger to prance on, no big light show. Just a band playing — back when they were still a great, great band. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Throbbing Gristle20 Jazz Funk Greats; Heathen Earth: The Live Sound of Throbbing Gristle, (Pop/Rock)
Various ArtistsBill Monroe 100th Year Celebration: Live at Bean Blossom, Rural Rhythm (Country)
Various ArtistsBreakin,’ (Stage & Screen)
Various ArtistsOriginal Soundtrack: Happy Feet Two, (Classical)
Various ArtistsOriginal Soundtrack: The Muppets, Walt Disney (Stage & Screen)
Various ArtistsSongs of the Jewish-American Jet Set: The Tikva Records Story 1950-73, (International)
Various ArtistsThe World’s Greatest Garth Brooks Tribute, Big Eye (Country)
Various ArtistsThe Twilight Zone Radio Dramas, Vols. 1-3, (Vocal)
Various ArtistsVee-Jay: Celebrating 40 Years of Classic Hits 1953-93, TVT (R&B)
VoivodTo the Death 84, Alternative Tentacles (Pop/Rock)
Warren ZevonBad Luck Streak in Dancing School, Friday Music (Pop/Rock)
Wayman TisdaleThe Wayman Tisdale Story, Rendezvous (Jazz)
Willie NelsonRemember Me, Vol. 1, (Country)
Wishbone AshElegant Stealth, C&B Productions (Pop/Rock)
YesYesshows [Expanded Edition], Friday Music (Pop/Rock)

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